Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Playing Catch-up: Closing Out the Diamondback Series

It's not a well-kept secret that I have no faith in John Lackey. Somehow, I got the impression that Lackey is always on the mound when we have the chance to sweep, and he always comes up short. Being the good, completely not-lazy blogger that I am, I decided to go back through the whole entire season, three grueling months, and check out any opportunities to sweep. I would have bet my firstborn on the fact that it was Lackey blowing our chances at the sweeps. Instead, what I found made me sort of sad. Results are here:

Missed Sweep Opportunities
April 22, Rangers @ Sox - Starter: C. Buchholz
April 25, Orioles @ Sox - Starter: T. Wakefield
May 12, Blue Jays @ Sox - Starter: T. Wakefield
June 3, A's @ Sox - Starter: T. Wakefield
June 6, Sox @ Orioles - Starter: J. Lackey
June 13, Phillies @ Sox - Starter: T. Wakefield

Sigh. Poor Tim. I don't know how I turned his starts into Lackey starts in my mind, but I guess Lackey deserves a little more credit than I give him. I still won't give it to him yet, but he deserves it.

Anyhow, that still didn't leave me very confident in the matchup of John Lackey vs. Dan Haren (PS, Dan Haren? The hobo look does not suit you. Clean yourself up). It wasn't as if Haren had much better numbers than Lackey, or that he's intimidating. He doesn't, and he's not. I just... don't trust John. He had two innings in which he didn't allow a run to score. His only clean inning of the night was his final inning - the sixth. All in all, he allowed 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 ER's, and he hit a guy. Not the most impressive outing against a team that came in to this game with a record of 26-41. They're not the Orioles, but they're also not a very good team. It's ok, he walked away with the win, and it's good enough for me, I guess. Ok, it's not, but I'll deal with my own Lackey-related issues another time.

The offense backed Lackey with 10 hits and 8 runs, including a 2-run home run by the Large Father himself. If there's any doubt that Ortiz is ok and people pressed the panic button too early with him, his 14 home runs and .266 average should alleviate some of that doubt. Turns out he just had a slow start. I promise, this is the last I'll harp on Papi's slow start and the horrible overreaction to such. I'm just happy that our Papi is back, and can still hit them out. Every Papi home run is like a ray of sunshine on a cold, rainy day.

Daniel Nava, though, was great. The kid, as of the June 17th game, had four doubles, six RBI's, and a grand slam in less than a week. Could we really ask for more from him? Oh yeah, he scored two runs of his own and contributed with three hits to help finish off the Diamondbacks. He's honestly got to be on top of the world, and I hope he gets to stay there. I bet he and Wake have plenty to talk about, what with no one wanting them to play baseball and still managing to pull themselves up and have big league careers and all. I know, I'm getting ahead of myself with Nava, but he's just got such a great story that it's hard for me not to. I wish nothing but good things for him.

Overall, the only batters without hits were Youk, Drew, and McDonald, which is perfectly fine, because we all know they contribute other times. How can I really complain about a win, especially when I'm this far behind with my blogging (not going to meet my quota for the month... damnit!)? I can't. And I won't. I'll gladly take a sweep and a Papi home run any day, even if it IS Lackey on the mound.

Next in my catch-up effort... Manny returns. Bet you can't wait... because Lord knows we hadn't heard enough about him!

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